God coming to us and showing us the way to fellowship with Him?Personally, I'm not a fan of intentions. At least from a human perspective. I know too many times I've intended to reach out more to people, intended to have a better attitude, intended to do __________ and avoid ____________, but I don't follow through whether it's due to laziness or just not wanting to.Sometimes I intend to take the high road and serve with kindness and without complaint, but then twenty minutes later I gripe about what all I had to do, how X and Y annoy me to death and how they better not expect me to do such and such ever again.So maybe I'm just good at intentions, but bad at following through. That's why for me, intentions aren't that great.
Susanne, you have clearly angered the blogger gods. I don't get notices when you comment anymore! :(Hmmm...I think that the follow though is equally important but when I think of intentions, I'm thinking it's like, you decide that you need to avoid gossip. So you pray for help, etc. and intend to avoid gossip. And then you slip. Okay. Back to not quite square one. You start again and each time you get better at avoiding gossip or reading the Bible daily or praying or helping other people out and it's a way to actively change your attitude and behaviour. But even when you make those mistakes, God takes into account your sincere intention to change and be the better person.
I would, perhaps, say that Islam is a "religion of trying". Intentions are absolutely crucial, but so is making your best effort to do what Allah has taught us is right and good and pleasing to Him, via the Qur'an, and the examples of the message in action in the lives of all the prophets. I'd love to sum up Islam in a nifty catchphrase, but there are many layers to it (which I know you understand, Amber), that a catchphrase can be a misunderstood oversimplification. People often say that Islam is a religion of deeds, while Christianity is one of faith - implying that Islam is therefore inferior, or somehow lacking in the faith department. However, the more I read Qur'an and learn, the more I see how interconnected the various aspects of Islam are: you can't have faith without good deeds, you can't have good deeds without pure intentions, and you can't have pure intentions if you're motivated by anything but a desire to please Allah and grow closer to Him. Islam is very holistic - each aspect is intertwined with the rest; you (and I mean that in the general and most generic way) can't take this part or that part and say "this is what Islam is in a nutshell". I think of Islam as a spiritual eco-system - it has individual aspects, all important, and they can't be compartmentalized because they all have an effect on the rest.I think I'm rambling now, but did my point get through?
*narrows eyes* You're the one who told me the whole 'Islam is a religion of intention' thing. *pokes with stick*Deeds and faith are an important aspect of both Christianity and Islam, even is people don't always see that. You did get your point across, yes. Still eyeing you.
I don't know too much about Christianity but I wanted to say that I'm a big fan of intentions!! I mean doing things for the right reasons (intentions). I had this conversation with my husband just recently. I'm having some problems with my co-workers and one of them came back from her holidays at the same time as my husband did (and he's the one who had the souvenirs).. So anyway, she brought me and the other girl a magnet, and also got the other co-worker a bracelet. Probably included me because it would have been way to awkward not to, though I don't know her intentions. I decided to give them something too and I wanted to be sure of my intentions before I went ahead and did it. If I did it with the wrong intentions, what's the use, they might as well not get anything and think what they wanna think. In that way, I believe my intentions are more important than the act itself. It's true that I had the idea to give them something because I got something and was reminded that the other girl got me a pen last time she went on vacation too. My husband made me bring them 2 souvenirs each and I could tell that his intentions for this were not good, it was to make sure that I gave something better than what I got. Kind of like an, "up your's! i'm so much better than you!"I refused to bring them 2 souvenirs unless I knew that I was giving it with the right intentions.. because I hoped it would make them glad. Because of the conflict I'm having, I definitely wouldn't be giving them a big gift with the right intentions, I'm really not "there" yet. But 2 cute trinkets, yes. It wasn't to out-do anyone, just to share. So to conclude, this is what I see is the real reason for good intentions, not saying you will do something and never finding a way to make it happen. Those aren't real intentions to me.
This makes perfect sense to me. You can do nice or good things but if your intention is to show off or to make yourself look better than someone else then the good thing is really just an outgrowth of bad intentions and I feel like that poisons it somehow.
That makes sense to me, too, Candice.But so does what I said! Haha! So there are maybe degrees to it...who knows. Good post, Amber.